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Meet the invididuals who prepare the ground for our community and are inspired to be servant leaders. With a passion for the body of Christ and the community of Airway Heights, each week, this team gives their time and skills to serve others.

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Jacob Powers

Jacob Powers - Lead Pastor

My walk started a bit later than some. I never attended a youth group, did not attend church on Sundays or major holidays either. My first vivid memory is of my dad reading the bible on our farm when I was a child but that was my only memory of God or religion. After leaving home (Cheney WA) in 1997 and serving in the Marine Corps for 4 years, I came back to Spokane to study business at Eastern Washington University. When I entered the Marine Corps I was issued a Bible (and I read the OT, story of Samson) but with no guidance or mentoring I related church to a place where I fell asleep for an extra hour or two on Sundays. During my college years I openly mocked my Christian friends, which lead to me having no Christian friends. I partied late and slept with multiple women, and had a no respect for religion or Christianity attitude. During my junior year of college I met a friend whose whole family I quickly became close with, they were Christians who walked the walk and talked the talk. Her younger brother attended Life Center where he served on the drama team. He continually invited me to his church to see him perform. After many invitations I went. God knew his plan for me because I went to see my friend “perform” but had an intimate encounter with God. That day at 25 years of age I said “yes” to God. Then a year went by, I attended church sort of in secret. It was the don’t ask, don’t tell policy about attending church. Roommates didn’t ask why I was up early on a Sunday and I didn’t freely tell them why I was getting up.
 

That first year I didn’t change much about my life. I still worked downtown at a bar and I wasn’t in a serious relationship. Then I met my future wife and our third date was church. We started reading the bible together (yes we met at the bar I worked at) but this relationship started to develop our relationship in Christ. Our HEARTS started to change and grow as the spirit took ahold. I decided to volunteer in Children’s ministry. That developed into an internship. Although I wasn’t ready to delve into full time ministry God was preparing my heart for the change. After my internship I continued to work in the secular world until God plainly showed me and told me he had a very different plan for my life. I started to take classes in 2007 through SMI (Spokane Ministry Institute) at Life Center North, I was offered a position on staff and from there Jesus started to radically change my life for His purpose. My wife, Kym, and I took all three tracts of SMI at LCN. We were active in ministry and bible studies. God revealed his plans for us, as he was growing us up in him, and readied us with the Call of Church planting. Through the mentoring of Mike and Tesa, and wisdom and call from God we knew we were ready to radically step out in faith for Jesus. Using all he is equipping us with to sell our house, move our family to Airway Heights, and plant a church to inspire and bring more members to His kingdom. We love the west plains and we truly felt like Airway heights would be the town we raised our family. We are being faithful, obedient servants to God’s will in our lives and look forward to the journey he has for us and our family.

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Kym Powers

Kym Powers - Co-Pastor

Growing up believing in Christ was something I had said yes to at an early age, but I would have termed myself as a “BNW” (believer not a walker).  I was active in Young life and attended Sunday service with friends or on my own throughout High School.  Grace and salvation were terms I understood and believed in but unbeknownst to me I had yet to have a heart change.  As I grew up and went off to college I was much more of the world than a light in it.  Parties, drinking and dating were a priority along with studying and staying at the top of my class, moving 400 miles away for college brought independence but I did not get connected with a church or attend any services.  It wasn’t until an old friend (Pastor Dan Burch) whom I grew up with moved to the Spokane area to be a worship pastor and reached out to me.  We went on a hike one day and he asked me questions about my faith and walk with Christ.  My answers were shallow and I suddenly realized there was no depth to my belief in Christ it was purely superficial.  Per his invite I went to check out a service at Life Center North.  Between the hike with a spiritually mature Christian, the Message Pastor Mike spoke, and an overwhelming burden of how I had been living my life placed squarely and heavily on my heart I recommitted my faith in Christ.  It went far beyond just a “yes.” I signed up to serve, decided not to date for at least a year, and made a heart commitment to Christ that led me down the path of rectifying  past hurt, regret, and healing.  In that year my life was changed and I can say my foundation in Christ was built.  At the end of that year I met my husband and our third date was church.  God built in me a solid foundation and then allowed me to meet Jacob and build an even more concrete foundation with him at my side, grounded in Christ.

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Alissa Adams

Alissa Adams - Associate Pastor/Develop

I grew up in a Christian home and was involved at church. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I felt my relationship with Christ unravel. I spent the first half of that year feeling alone and depressed. I wasn’t convinced that I wanted to follow Jesus anymore, I wasn’t even sure I believed in Him anymore. I went through a faith crisis, like people go through mid life crises, but instead of a sports car, all I got was a whole lot of doubt and zero interest in getting out of bed in the morning. Even though I still went to church with my family, it all felt like I was just going through the motions.


Somehow my parents convinced me to go to winter camp with our church even though none of my friends were going. One night during worship as I tried to make it look like I wanted to be there, I watched my younger sister and her friends worship wholeheartedly. I was envious of them, I wanted to feel His presence in my life again. In that moment, I felt the Holy Spirit come over me. It was then that I knew God existed and that He had never abandoned me even though at times it felt like He had. I made the decision to follow Christ with everything I had. The depression went away, I had hope again and was excited when I got out of bed in the morning. My youth pastor asked me if I wanted to intern with her that summer after graduation, I said yes and that’s when I discovered that I loved doing ministry.


It is because of that experience and other powerful encounters with the Holy Spirit, that I know I am called to be a part of the church plant in Airway Heights. For months, Jacob and Kym had half jokingly told me I should go with them and I would laugh it off, not giving it a second thought. Months later, I took some time away from doing ministry to pray about what God had in store for me. During this time I heard the whisper of the Holy Spirit telling me it was time to go, my journaling went from “if I go to Airway Heights to plant a church” to “when I go” and other people confirmed this calling on my life. I decided to keep growing in Christ and go to Airway Heights.

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Alissa Adams

Alissa Adams - Associate Pastor/Develop

I grew up in a Christian home and was involved at church. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I felt my relationship with Christ unravel. I spent the first half of that year feeling alone and depressed. I wasn’t convinced that I wanted to follow Jesus anymore, I wasn’t even sure I believed in Him anymore. I went through a faith crisis, like people go through mid life crises, but instead of a sports car, all I got was a whole lot of doubt and zero interest in getting out of bed in the morning. Even though I still went to church with my family, it all felt like I was just going through the motions.


Somehow my parents convinced me to go to winter camp with our church even though none of my friends were going. One night during worship as I tried to make it look like I wanted to be there, I watched my younger sister and her friends worship wholeheartedly. I was envious of them, I wanted to feel His presence in my life again. In that moment, I felt the Holy Spirit come over me. It was then that I knew God existed and that He had never abandoned me even though at times it felt like He had. I made the decision to follow Christ with everything I had. The depression went away, I had hope again and was excited when I got out of bed in the morning. My youth pastor asked me if I wanted to intern with her that summer after graduation, I said yes and that’s when I discovered that I loved doing ministry.


It is because of that experience and other powerful encounters with the Holy Spirit, that I know I am called to be a part of the church plant in Airway Heights. For months, Jacob and Kym had half jokingly told me I should go with them and I would laugh it off, not giving it a second thought. Months later, I took some time away from doing ministry to pray about what God had in store for me. During this time I heard the whisper of the Holy Spirit telling me it was time to go, my journaling went from “if I go to Airway Heights to plant a church” to “when I go” and other people confirmed this calling on my life. I decided to keep growing in Christ and go to Airway Heights.

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Heather Petro

Heather Petro - Groups leader

Heather Petro was born in Denver, Colorado. She came into this world fighting for her life. A strength her father and mother affectionately say has never left her and an attribute they love. Her husband often refers to her as “tough as nails, with a caring heart”. She is married to her High School sweet-heart, Matt, for 20 years. They have an amazing son & daughter, Brendan (17yrs) and Caitlyn (11yrs). She has attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, Eastern Washington University, and Maryland University.

She grew up with a passion for horses; riding, training, showing and competing which was a year round endeavor. In addition to her passion of horses was her love of dance and color guard. She started competing at a young age and has continued to love the “Sport of the Arts”, having committed over 20 years to coaching in High schools, Universities and Drum and Bugle Corps.  Coming from a family with meager means, she learned to work hard for what she wanted and looked at every challenge as an opportunity. The youngest of three sisters living in a two-bedroom/one-bath apartment, had its challenges. She laughs remembering the quick and efficient way she, her Mom & sisters had to share valuable space.

She enjoys her coffee and her toes in the beach sand at the edge of the ocean, hockey, skiing, rock climbing, scuba diving, running, dancing and is always ready to try something new. Horses, and dance aren’t for the faint of heart. She learned toughness, stamina, endurance, achievement & heartbreak. Valuable lessons for a life lived to its fullest. This however, was something she attributes as a gift from the one she loves most; her Heavenly Father. She felt in the lowest of lows and the Highest of Highs, Jesus Christ has been her consistent steadfast love and rock. She credits everything to Him who has given her grace and mercy and blessed her abundantly.

Married to a military pilot, she learned to be ready to move at the drop of a hat whenever the Air Force gave the order. She had many sleepless nights as her husband served in unknown locations with an unknown date of return. As a stay-at-home mom she learned to be mother and father when the Air Force called her beloved away again. Her children are her heart’s joy and as their biggest fan she is always in the stands cheering them on. She enjoys being the taxi driver, accountant, maid, cook, party coordinator, appointment maker, volunteer, teacher, dog walker, counselor etc… She balances the challenges, giving God all the glory for the successes and failures knowing He has given her all the tools she needed to make it through and His grace is always sufficient. Everywhere she has been in the world she has had the opportunity to share God’s love with women; teaching and serving wherever she goes. Women she affectionately calls the “Jewels in her life”.

She has traveled with her husband & children extensively and always looks forward to the next adventure. The next season of their life and new adventure is settling down in Spokane, Washington as her husband is now retired and has a new career in education. She recently founded Live BIG ministry, and accepts this new challenge as an opportunity to share her one true love, Jesus Christ. 

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Delores Dee Shack

Delores Dee Shack - Celebrate Sundays

I was raised during the turbulent Sixties/Seventies or Vietnam Era and readily bought into the prevailing values. Our slogans were "Power to the people", "If it feels good do it", "Make love not war", "Love the one you're with", " Live and let live", "Government can't be trusted" (Watergate), "War, what is it good for...absolutely nothing". Our terms were "Drop a dime" (pay phone), "Boss" (Fantastic), "Skirt" (Girl) "Flake" (Useless person) "Bummed out" (Depressed), which most of us were but wouldn't admit it. Joseph Campbell proposed, "Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls". The music of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin,  Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker, Crosby, Stills, & Nash, James Taylor, Carole King, Isaac Hayes, Roberta Flack, Donnie Hathaway, Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix, and Gladys Knight, transported you hopefully to a place of nirvana as you dwelt in a smokey haze alone or with a group of friends. Yet, with all that coolness and being raised in a semi Christian home my life was an absolute wreck. From multiple relationships, a broken marriage, three children, indulgent credit card debt, an empty bank account, broken friendships and a weary burned out soul, I tried to get away from it all by joining the Army. The problem with running away without making any corrections whatsoever is,  I took my misery with me and reestablished the same pattern of wreckage in Hawaii, my first military duty station. The Holy Scripture (the Bible) says " There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14:12 KJV).

I had a ton of DEATH and saw no way out of the casket. Unfortunately, because of a cascading effect, my children were experiencing a whirlwind of consequences due to my poor decision making. My home life was in total disarray. That, was until I went to church with my favorite drinking buddy. For the first time in my life, I saw people who truly believed the bible and I heard the bible taught in a manner that unmasked my sinful lifestyle. God ripped the covers off my trash and made me face it, that is when I realized I was desperately in need of a Savior. The answer was Jesus. Thankfully, there was already a plan set in motion to get me out of trouble (Salvation), John 3:17.

It took quite a few years (10+) for God to undo my messes and set me the children on a better path, for us to grow in Him, but He did it. Fifteen years later after studying the bible diligently, taking courses, attending leadership training (military, secular & Christian), never missing a service (3x/wk), working full-time as a nurse, I became a part of a ministry team (1997). I have since settled in the West plains area (2001) after retiring from the military (Desert Storm vet) and have been privileged along the way to act as interim pastor for a local church. Was it easy, No, but it was and still is a grand adventure of faith. God can turn around any situation whether financial, physical, domestic, or social. He has proved that in many ways in my life. I am an example of His ability to transform a life and it is an honor to be able to helps others in the same predicament.

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Jim Reid

Jim Reid - Engage

I was born in Spokane and raised in a Christian home. After graduating from East Valley High School, I went to Le Tourneau college in Longview Tx. where I received my aircraft mechanic license. I then went to Moody Bible college in Chicago for foreign missions training and Bible classes. From Chicago to moody aviation in Tenn., receiving flight training, then drafted in the Army, which included a tour to Vietnam. After that assignment, I met my wife and we joined Mission Aviation Fellowship with whom we served for 15 years. We flew in West Papua for four terms where our two sons were born. After leaving MAF, I served in church and para church organizations in the area of facility management. I also worked as a general contractor and then retired in 2014 from the Marriott hotel as their facility manager. I now work with my son in his landscape business. We enjoy spending time with our 4 grandchildren. 

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Micah Tharpe

Micah Tharpe - Worship Director

I was born and raised in a Christ-following home in the bountiful cornfields of Illinois.  My father was a worship leader and I’ve been blessed to learn from and serve with him in this ministry. Both my parents and grandparents love and serve the Lord and have gifted me with a Godly heritage to pass on to my own family.

I’ve been a “Christian” as long as I can remember.  There was a time at about 16, though, that God revealed Himself to me in a personal way.  It was then that I started to discover what Christianity meant to me, instead of just to my family.  I started to journal and pray more than ever before, and I started to "own" my faith.  This was one of the most radical transformations in my life.       

After high school I spent two years in Dallas interning with recording artists Shane & Shane while serving in ministry at The Oaks Fellowship church.  This broadened my passion for songwriting and leading worship. I was also attending college at Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie at the time and there met my lovely wife, Melissa in 2010.  God has blessed us greatly in these five BUSY years. We married in 2012, had our precious baby girl, Adelaide, the following year and we had another beautiful girl, Emma, in January 2015.

No matter what else is going on in life, Melissa and I have a call to and passion for missions.  We often joke that we work to support our ministry habit.  Serving with The Heights Church is one more of God’s gifts to us, and it is with great joy that we partner with you in music, ministry and missions.

 
 
 
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Sabrina Peterson

Sabrina Peterson - Children’s Director

I was introduced to the Christian faith as a toddler. I remember as a young child going to church and Vacation Bible School and doing Bible studies with my mom. Before I became a teenager my parents had fallen away from that faith. Praise the Lord, and my mom, that the seed had been planted. I prayed all the time growing up and as I entered into adulthood, I started really seeking out the Lord. I began working at a store where a Pastor’s wife worked. We built a friendship and I saw something different in her. A light. I started asking her questions about Jesus and she would spend time with me helping me to understand the Bible and speaking hard truth into my life. She was an amazing witness to me.

 

I met my husband and moved to Washington where a friend introduced me to Life Center. That is when I began my personal relationship and walk with the Lord. I joined a Women’s Mentoring Life Group, where I thrived in God’s Word. And then a good friend told me about The Heights church that was soon to be launched and invited me to attend. I came the day they launched this church and this is where I found my home. I began serving soon after it launched and learned very quickly my heart and love for serving. Through this church, the people, and the ministries, I have really began to grow. I started to discover faith and God and who He is. The more I seek Him through prayer and journaling, the more He reveals Himself to me. This church has come along side me, to be there for me in joyous times and help me get through struggling times, to believe in me and push me to my potential, to help me to keep my eyes on Jesus.

 

I believe in this church. I believe in the vision of this church. I love serving God’s people for His Kingdom. I pray that I can inspire others to know Jesus and encourage them in their own walk with Him. I feel so blessed and privileged to be a part of The Heights and its ministries, and I look forward to seeing God work in us and through us, changing lives and building the community of Airway Heights and the surrounding areas to live life with each other in faith and fellowship.

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Rick Sapone

Rick Sapone - Council Member

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Kippie Shadix

Kippie Shadix - Council Member

 I grew up in an unchurched and lost family.  We were taught the Lord’s Prayer and that God existed.  My mother considered herself a Jack-Mormon (a reference to someone who doesn’t follow the tenets of Mormonism but was raised in that religion) and my father was raised Church of Christ but I did not know that until later in life.  I do have memories of seeing my dad read the bible once or twice but no discussion past general references to God. 

 

We lived on the “bad” side of town and when I was 10 years old a church bus ministry began visiting our neighborhood and inviting us to church.  There was seven kids in my family and I am sure my mom was glad to send us off each Sunday.  That opened the door for me to learn about Jesus, his love, forgiveness and sacrifice for me.  The fact that he desired to have a relationship with me and cared about my thoughts, feelings and needs was incredible.  I became convicted of my need for forgiveness; even a 10 year old knows the weight of sin. 

 

After learning and understanding that Jesus was the savior, I still struggled with surrendering to Christ.  After receiving the knowledge that I was in need of a savior I put the actual decision on hold.  I later learned that this was just another version of “no” as my answer.  

 

While struggling with this decision my dog was purposely ran over and killed.  God used this experience with death to bring me to the reality that we really don’t have time to hesitate.  I still remember the battle of that decision and it took great courage and humility to come forward and accept Jesus as my Savior.  I felt an immediate lifting of my burdens from my spirit and a fresh washing of joy and peace that is indescribable.

 

My decision to follow and have a daily relationship with Christ was not just for life after death but for life every day with Him.  I have experienced the truth of God’s word and know that the bible is alive and applicable today.  That bus ministry and the prayers that went into it allowed an opportunity for my whole family to know Jesus as savior.  As a result, God’s multiplication is still in action.  My parents also surrendered to Christ, were baptised and we began to attend church as a family.I have served God in many capacities over the years from Sunday School Teacher, AWANA Leader, Women’s Ministry Director and more.  Also, I served as a volunteer at Anna Ogden Hall.  I now serve as Life Group Pastor and council member for The Heights Church.

 

I want others to know Christ as I do and to go and grow in relationship with him and the local church body.  I am committed to serve him and to share what he is doing in my life.  Life is hard and I think it is important to be real and authentic with others with the struggles life brings so that they can have hope and encouragement, building relationships that lead to the most important one, a relationship with Christ Jesus our savior.  

 

If you are trying to decide if God is real, just begin with a conversation with him and see what happens.  Read the bible and start in Romans or John, ask questions.  Write them out in a journal, ask God to show you, ask someone who walks their faith out.  Come to The Heights and connect with one of us.  

 

These can be scary steps but God is waiting, he does not force himself on us.  Isaiah 30:18 (NLT) says “So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion.  For the Lord is a faithful God.”  He loves you just as you are, don’t hesitate or believe the lies that filter through your mind that you are not good enough or ready.  Romans 10:13 says “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  Call on his name today.

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Ryan Stemkoski

Ryan Stemkoski - Council Member

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Barb Snodgrass

Barb Snodgrass - Treasurer

Comming soon... 

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